Libya’s new interim PM, a university professor, has been entrusted with the task of rebuilding the country.
Libya’s Transitional National Council (NTC) has chosen Abdurrahim El Keib as the country’s new interim prime minister to replace Mahmoud Jibril.
“This transition period has its own challenges. One thing we will be doing is working very closely with the NTC and listening to the Libyan people,” El Keib said on Monday after his appointment was determined by members of the transitional council.
“We salute and remember the revolutionaries who we will never forget. We will not forget their families. I say to them that the NTC did not and will not forget them and also the coming government will do the same,” he added.
El Keib, an electrical engineer and professor at the university of Tripoli, garnered 26 votes out of the total of 51 votes, and said that he expected to choose his cabinet ministers within two weeks.
“We said we would (elect a cabinet) a month from the liberation. We have two weeks left and we intend to meet that deadline,” he said.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the NTC chairman, did not run, while former interim PM Jibril fulfilled a promise to resign after Libya was declared officially “liberated” after the fall of Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte.
The NTC has promised to hold elections after eight months for a national assembly that will spend a year drawing up a new constitution before a parliamentary poll.
Big challenges ahead
Jalal el-Gallal, an NTC spokesman, said the NTC wanted to form a new interim government after the fall of Gaddafi because its initial members started out as an impromptu group.
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting Tripoli, said that El Keib’s appointment was a significant boost for Jalil.
“El Keib, an electrical engineer and also an NTC representative from Tripoli, enjoys strong support from within the members of NTC,” he said.
“It is expected, this man with so much support will be able to overcome some of major obstacles, particularly in the appointment and choosing of members for key ministries like oil, defence, finance and interior.”
Our correspondent said: “You are talking about somebody who has potential to implement tough decisions particularly in convincing NTC fighters to join the army and police force, and implement law and order in the capital and across the country.”
“Libya has to draft a constitution, elect a national assembly and it has to decide what governance system it wants, and for all these it needs a person like El Keib who has a large support base.”